Irish stand up comedian Gráinne Maguire has recently been extending her comedic influence to the world of politics, with her appearance on BBC Question Time back in January being the catalyst for her being named MoodyComedy’s Comedian of the Month. Gráinne’s approach to political debate is particularly refreshing due to her positive can-do attitude and this outlook is also reflected in her stand up, with audiences being left with a constructive message, rather than a defeatist one.
To learn a little more about her, I asked Gráinne these seven questions…
1) Is it intimidating as a comedian to sit on the panel of a show such as Question Time?
It was a bit tricky. I was obviously there as a comedian rather than a political hack so I didn’t want to try to present myself as an expert next to people whose job it is to really know what they’re talking about. But I didn’t want to come across as a total moon calf either. So, I tried to split the difference and find a way to express what I thought, in as funny and honest a way as possible. To be honest, by the time the programme started recording, I had tipped over from nervous to hyper, so I was quite relaxed by the time the cameras started rolling.
2) When was the last time you wasted a sum of money?
I bought a wool hat in an Accessorise sale for £6 and lost it literally about three hours later. I was so annoyed I went back to the shop the next day and bought the exact same one again so it wasn’t quite the bargain I had hoped in the end.
3) What smell reminds you of your childhood?
I lived in the country in the middle of nowhere so rain and freshly cut grass reminds me of summer mornings going for adventures down the fields. I was very adventurous as a child, so I loved anything involving trees, heights and imminent injury in general.
4) Did you anticipate becoming a comedian?
I always had an awful gut feeling that I’d have to give it a go at some stage, but it was more a dull dread than a bursting feeling of excitement. I always assumed you’d have to be genius to be a stand up comedian, the performers I admired, Tommy Tiernan, Billy Connelly, Dylan Moran, seemed like actual gods so I never thought it was something normal people could do. I thought it was like dropping into conversation that you thought you could make it as a supermodel, like, look at me guys, guess who’s so funny I should actually be paid for it! But then I realised it was the one thing I wanted so badly I wouldn’t mind being rubbish at it for ages first. And I saw all the other male comedians at my level, so confident and certain of themselves, so I thought, sod it, if they can give it a go, I can too.
5) Where would you most like to live?
I have this day dream where I live in New York. I eat bagels in delis, walk down the street drinking coffee and am best friends with Alec Baldwin.
6) How would you define success?
Success to me is not wanting to swap your life with anyone else, being entirely contented with your lot, being at peace with your flaws and failures, having only regrets that can be ruefully shrugged away, being creatively fulfilled and having people in your life that you love and love you back.
7) What advice would you give to a teenager?
Be really kind to yourself, don’t take yourself too seriously, be nicer to your sister.